The Cost of Living in Turkey: a Complete Guide

Whether we like it or not money is at the centre of our lives and one of the most popular questions our clients ask us is, what is the cost of living in Turkey? This is a perfectly rational decision as to whether you would like to have some enjoyable time, purchase something for your home, pay your household bills, as the old saying goes, money makes the world go round.

Overall Turkey is much cheaper when compared to other European destinations however your average costs in Turkey will be determined by your lifestyle. We will try to put a light on costs for middle-class families as well as some individual items. 

This blog post will be a general guide on the cost of living in Turkey with examples from different consumer spending like rent, grocery, or travel costs with comparisons to other countries in the world. However please note that not everyone has the same spending habits, and your average costs might differ according to your lifestyle. The first factor that will affect the cost of living in Turkey is the size of your family. 

Bigger families do end up buying bigger houses and more people to feed, dress and educate will cost more than someone who is living on their own. The second factor is your spending habits. If you have a luxurious lifestyle such as having a car, consuming cigarettes, and alcohol, choosing to eat out and your shopping style and habits will certainly affect your costs.

The last factor is the location of your property. Living in posh parts of Istanbul is certainly more expensive in all parts when compared to living in eastern Turkey where rent, food and other expenses will be considerably cheaper. 

What is the minimum wage in Turkey in 2021?

As of 2021, the minimum wage is a net 2825 lira per month including all the social security and health insurance perks the government grants you when you are employed. Unfortunately, you will have to live an extremely frugal lifestyle if you are earning at this level. 

How Regional Differences Affect the Cost of Living in Turkey?

When you are buying a property in Turkey you should consider the fact that the location of your property will have a direct impact on the cost of living in Turkey. Istanbul is leading the list when it comes to the cost of living in Turkey. Post parts of Istanbul do have high rents.

When you include the cost of living in Turkey, day to day expenses like grocery and entertainment, the finance and business centre of Turkey will hurt your pocket. If you are not paying rent or mortgage, 7000 lira per month can give you a decent lifestyle in Istanbul. 

If you are looking for cheaper options where the cost of living in Turkey is lower, please do consider Antalya city centre as well as small towns around Antalya like Alanya or Fethiye.

Antalya is a fantastic option when compared to the high cost of living in Istanbul as everything including rent and day to day expenses will be significantly cheaper. 4000 lira excluding rent and mortgage will be plenty of money for you and your family in Antalya. 

How Exchange Rates and Interest Rates Affect the Cost of Living in Turkey?

Plenty of our clients are retired or have some sort of earning in one of the major currencies in the world like Dollars, Euros or Pound Sterling. Over the last 5 years, these currencies have been performing well when compared to the Turkish lira. So, when these currencies are exchanged, our clients can enjoy great rates. Currently, 1 pound is worth 10.14 liras and the exchange rates fluctuate according to world events. 

Furthermore, the current interest rate is %17 in Turkey. With inflation being around %15 in 2020 some of our clients just bring their savings to Turkish banks to enjoy these high inflation rates and just spend from their high earnings throughout the year.

The Central Bank of Turkey has made direct comments regarding the situation of the current interest rates and they assured the markets that they will not bring the value down. They also added that if the current economical climate worsens, they will be happy to increase as well but we do not expect this to happen. We can comfortably say that the interest rate will stay stable at %17 for the first part of 2021.  

Breaking down the Cost of Living in Turkey

ProductsAverage PricesPrice Range
Milk (regular), (1 liter)5.75 TL3.70-7.95
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g)2.72 TL1.50-5.08
Rice (white), (1kg)12.45 TL6.00-18.25
Eggs (regular) (12)12.25 TL6.00-18.00
Local Cheese (1kg)43.02 TL23.00-65.00
Chicken Fillets (1kg)20.74 TL14.00-30.00
Beef Round (1kg) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat)68.67 TL50.00-85.00
Apples (1kg)5.89 TL3.00-8.00
Banana (1kg)14.08 TL9.00-18.99
Oranges (1kg)7.56 TL3.00-14.49
Tomato (1kg)5.40 TL2.50-8.00
Potato (1kg)3.35 TL1.50-5.00
Onion (1kg)3.72 TL1.75-9.95
Lettuce (1 head)4.20 TL2.00-5.50
Water (1.5 liter bottle)2.30 TL1.25-3.00
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range)50.00 TL30.00-80.00
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle)13.37 TL10.62-18.00
Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle)17.39 TL12.00-25.00
Cigarettes 20 Pack (Marlboro)18.00 TL
Numbers attained from Numbeo

Rent and Property Purchase In Antalya renting a 1 bedroom property usually start from 900 lira. However, the cost is massively dependent on the location, age and condition of the flat. Whereas if you are looking to purchase property in Antalya, properties start from $50,000 however these places will be the bare minimum of what Antalya property can offer you so the more you are prepared to spend the better as there are stunning seafront apartments that start from $300,000 to millions. 

Annual Costs of Property

Apartment Maintenance Fee: When you live in an apartment in Turkey you will be subject to pay a monthly apartment maintenance fee. If the apartment has 6 or more flats you are legally obliged to pay the amount which is determined by the house management.

The maintenance fee is used to maintain communal facilities such as cleaning of hallways, gardening, pool cleaning as well as the wages of security and other personnel. The maintenance fee tends to be around 150 to 350 lira but again massively dependent on the facilities that are available in your complex. 

Council and Rubbish Tax: This expense tends to be around 200 lira per year and calculated according to the size of your property and the number of shareholders on the property title deed(TAPU). 

Earthquake Insurance (DASK): As Turkey is on many fault lines DASK is compulsory in Turkey. The cost is calculated according to the size of your flat and it is around 300 lira per year. If you are looking to get a more extensive type of insurance policy for fire, theft etc the prices will increase.  

Utility Bills 

Depending on your usage, the total cost for electricity, heating and water will cost you around 700 lira per month. 

If you are planning to use the internet that would be around 100 lira per month depending on the speed of your internet. Telephone internet usually is included in your contract and it will depend on the company and the deal you have. 

Food Shopping: If you want to save money and buy the freshest food in Turkey, you must locate where your local bazaar is. Bazaars are quintessential for the Turkish lifestyle! Villagers and small tradesman bring their freshest products to bazaars and they tend to be considerably cheaper when compared to shopping from the supermarkets.

But these can change with the location so once you have moved to Turkey you must visit various shops as well as bazaars to get a feel for the prices. 150 liras will get you more than enough vegetable and fruits for the whole week for your family.

However, when it comes to red meat like lamb and beef, they are rather expensive ranging between 70-90 lira per kilogram. However, chicken is the most consumed meat in Turkey averaging with a kilo being around 25 lira. 

Socialising and consuming cigarettes, alcohol: Cigarettes range from 15-20 liras and if you are planning to go to a popular restaurant with a 3-course meal and drinks, please be prepared to pay around 200 lira for a single person. But there are loads of cheaper options so please do not be discouraged as there is something for everyone. 

Now you know a little bit more about the cost of living in Turkey, if you are interested in buying a property in Turkey, please contact us and our dedicated team at Kingsman Estates investor centre will be more than happy to help you with all your needs.

We are a boutique licenced professional real estate agency concentrating on international investors to entre the Turkish property market or diversify their portfolio. We handle the entire process from start to finish so our clients can have the best representation and ease of mind as they are navigating through the Turkish property market. 

If you would like to see our property selection, click here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

× How can I help you?